For the fourth consecutive year, the News Journal has been named the best large weekly newspaper in Kentucky.
The News Journal brought home 12 Excellence in Kentucky Newspaper Awards, including first place in General Excellence in the large weekly newspaper division, during the Kentucky Press Association’s 151th Annual Convention, which was held Friday in Lexington.
The News Journal received three first place awards in addition to the General Excellence Award, five second place awards and three third place awards.
“We have a high quality newspaper that provides an invaluable service to the community. It is nice that our peers see it that way as well and have, for the fourth year in a row, named the News Journal the best large weekly newspaper in Kentucky,” said News Journal Publisher Trent Knuckles.
“The News Journal staff is full of experienced people who put their heart and soul into this newspaper. They work hard and are deserving of this recognition. I’m proud of the newspaper we produce every week.”
Knuckles added that he would also like to thank those in the community for supporting this newspaper.
“Also, I want to recognize our ownership, Forcht Group of Kentucky and Mr. Terry Forcht, along with Publisher Emeritus Don Estep, for their support and contributions over the years,” Knuckles said.
Sports Editor Trevor Sherman led the way with one first place award for best sports columnist, and three second place awards for best sports feature, best sports picture essay and best sports page or section.
Sherman’s sports feature story award was for coverage of the Whitley County High School Girl’s Soccer Team.
“A shame they didn’t get to fulfill their dream after all they did for girls soccer in the county. Hopefully, younger girls coming up will want to imitate them and use their desire to reach the regionals and maybe even the state,” judges wrote.
Sherman also received a third place award for best sports story.
News Editor Mark White won a first place award for his coverage of the rescue of a woman from a burning building by Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird, Whitley County Emergency Services Director Danny Moses, and Williamsburg Police Lt. Bobby Freeman.
“Lots of details in this article. Reports from several of those involved included,” judges wrote.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin recognized Bird, Moses and Freeman for their heroics this past fall.
White received a second place best business story for an article on the Dayspring Family Health medical clinic at Williamsburg Independent School.
“Solid story about the opening of a school clinic and its impact,” judges wrote.
White and reporter Dean Manning shared a second place award for best investigative story or series detailing coverage of the Hepatitis A outbreak in Whitley County, and the health department’s initial refusal to release data about restaurants, which had employees diagnosed with Hepatitis A.
After the News Journal’s initial story, the health department gave into public pressure and released the information to the public about restaurants with employees infected with Hepatitis A.
“The real meat is in pushing for information persistently, and (darn) if the health workers didn’t respond and then so did a lot of other people. Congratulate yourselves on causing people to react to what could have been a bigger health threat than it was,” judges wrote.
White also received a third place award for best general news picture for a photo of rock star Rick Springfield performing during the annual NIBROC celebration in Corbin.
“The subject of the photo – Rick Springfield – is enough to earn this photo some credit,” judges wrote.
The News Journal staff received a first place award for best front page, and a third place award for best editorial page.
“Nice mix of news, jam packed with the good and not-so-good. Smart use of photos, and pullout quotes that give readers some of the emotion in the reporting,” judges wrote about the best front-page entry.